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Autism in girls

Autism in Girls (by Helen)

Research has shown that autism can look quite different in girls compared to boys, which can lead to late or misdiagnosis of autism in girls.

Let’s have a look at some of these differences in autistic girls:

• Girls can become great mimics, watching their peers and copying them well, but perhaps missing the subtleties of social cues, humour, sarcasm etc.

• Girls can mask or hide external symptoms, but this can take a lot of effort and may present as big emotional meltdowns when she is in a safe place, like at home.

• Girls tend to be more likely to want social connections but may be rigid with the rules and regularities of social interaction. This could look like friends complaining that ‘it always has to be her way’.

• A common trait of autism is restricted interests, however for girls this might look like increased intensity in interests. As highlighted by Jennifer O’Toole, an author and Autistic woman, says autistic girls are often described by others with the adverb ‘too’: ‘too sensitive’, ‘too much’.

Thorough assessment and ruling out other conditions is an important part of diagnosis, as is supporting girls to build the skills they need in a safe and understanding environment.

Ongoing psychological therapy can also be beneficial to support your daughter and your family.

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